State of the Art

Six BFFs head off on an art-filled girls' hol­i­day to Hong Kong



12.30PM TOUCH­DOWN It feels like "Spring Break" as the six of us land in Hong Kong—the first time in years that the en­tire gang fi­nally man­aged to get sched­ules in sync for a girls' es­capade. Ar­rival at Hong Kong's ul­tra ef­fi­cient Chek Lap Kok air­port was a breeze and we Roller over to the legendary Penin­sula, our fab home for the next few days. 1.30PM BASE CAMP The Penin­sula's im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice and warm hos­pi­tal­ity never fail. Walk­ing into the iconic lobby of this Grande Dame ho­tel, we are im­me­di­ately trans­ported into a world of rar­i­fied el­e­gance. And our room, a per­fect blend of un­der­stated lux­ury and touch-but­ton tech­nol­ogy (with de­light­ful views of Vic­to­ria Har­bour to boot), is sheer bliss. 2.15PM READY- SET- GO Af­ter a quick fresh-up, the girls are ready to head across the har­bour to Cen­tral, where most of the ac­tion is con­cen­trated dur­ing Art Week. We hop on to the ever-re­li­able MTR (Hong Kong's su­perbly main­tained un­der­ground train sys­tem) and get there with time to spare for a cof­fee be­fore the doors of­fi­cially open for Art Cen­tral's VIP Pre­view. 3.00PM ART FAIR Now on its third year, Art Cen­tral is staged in an im­pres­sive 10,000-squareme­tre cus­tom-de­signed struc­ture on the Cen­tral Har­bour­point. It is a vis­ual feast to walk through row upon row of in­ter­na­tional gal­leries (over 100, in fact) ex­hibit­ing a fas­ci­nat­ing range of works by emerg­ing and es­tab­lished con­tem­po­rary artists. Adding to the multi-sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence are bound­ary-push­ing per­for­mances and large-scale in­stal­la­tions scat­tered through­out the mas­sive tent. 4.30PM RE­FU­ELLING STA­TION Shortly into the se­cond hour on our feet and the girls clam­our for a quick bite. We head out­doors for the con­ve­niently set-up Street Food Cen­tral, serv­ing up a unique va­ri­ety of fun eats. The steamed gi­ant buns with pulled pork and porta­bello mush­rooms per­fectly hit the spot!

6.00PM OPEN­ING NIGHT Next on the agenda is the "Urs Fis­cher" Open­ing at the blue-chip Gagosian Gallery over at Ped­der Build­ing. The New York-based Swiss artist's first solo show in Asia fea­tures 11 large-scale tableaux. At the cock­tail, we meet up with an­other Manila friend, the art en­thu­si­ast Myla Vil­lanueva, who leads us on a fun gallery hop through the Ped­der Build­ing, home to block­buster gal­leries in­clud­ing Ben Brown, Lehmann Maupin and Pearl Lam. Cham­pagne corks pop open and the build­ing's nar­row halls are a frenzy as col­lec­tors and art afi­ciona­dos cross paths on their way to si­mul­ta­ne­ous Open­ing Night re­cep­tions. 8.00PM TIME TO CHILL Last stop on our Gallery Night crawl with Myla is the Asian out­post of Lon­don's White Cube on Con­naught Road, just a short walk away. On show are the Amer­i­can artist Theaster Gates' bronze works as well as hid­den gems in the gallery's back room. From there we mozy on to White Cube's pri­vate din­ner at the hip Sai Ying Pun hotspot, Potato Head. Great In­done­sian fare, more bub­bly, cool cock­tails, the chill vibe and jazz and reg­gae beats on vinyl are per­fect to un­wind af­ter the day's dizzy­ing events.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: Mar­vel­lous har­bour view from The Penin­sula; se­lec­tions from Art Cen­tral: in­clud­ing the strik­ing Be­tween Red by Sea Hyun Lee at Choi & Lager Gallery

FROM TOP: Soak­ing it up at White Cube; Urs Fis­cher's Foam­core (2017) at Gagosian Gallery; vinyl is the name of the game at Potato Head

Gallery hop with Myla Vil­lanueva

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